Salone News

"Live bullets were fired at Koroma and Margai"---Police

31 August 2007 at 23:36 | 1064 views

By Sorie Sudan Sesay, Freetown.

Police this evening confirmed that live bullets were
fired on the convoy of the leaders of the All People’s
Congress (APC)Ernest Bai Koroma(photo) and the People’s
Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) Charles Francis
Margai, who were on a campaign tour in Kenema, eastern
Sierra Leone.

Two of Koroma’s personal jeep vehicles were badly
damaged - one of them had its front tire punctured as a
result of the firing and is currently
at the Kenema police station as exhibit, while the
windscreen of the other was damaged.

Both leaders managed to escape through the help of
IMATT military personnel who escorted them out of the township. In fact one of the IMATT
vehicles which helped to rescue the APC convoy had its
windscreen damaged.

The police could not confirm who fired the live
shots but admitted that they were forced to fire
teargas to disperse the desperate crowds who were bent
on causing damage on Koroma and his team.

The convoy was coming from Segbwema where they were
also forced to cut short their campaign tour and make
a u-turn to Kenema.

On entering Kenema, according to the PMDC spokesman
Mohamed Bangura, the police told them they could not
guarantee them security forcing the APC men to call in
for military and IMATT personnel for securiry.

This latest incident came barely three days to reports
of violent attacks on northern businessmen in the
township forcing some of them to flee the area because
of insecurity.

Ernest and Margai later left for the southern township of Bo where
they were also brutally attacked. But the attackers
this time met stiff resistance from PMDC and APC
supporters who engaged them in a fierce battle plunging
the entire township in confusion and commotion.

The Sahara hotel where Margai and Ernest lodged was
attacked this morning and police had to be immediately
called in who reportedly fired teargas to disperse the

The residence of Sidique Janneh, the PMDC
official who was suspended by his party for
insubordination was ransacked.

Calm has however returned to the township but that was
after the convoy had left for Taiama.

Meanwhile Ernest and his new political
ally of the PMDC Charles Francis Margai, received a
massive welcome back in Freetown today.

Koroma and Margai stood inside two jeeps
and were driven across the city from the

Their arrival was greeted with
a huge surge of people, mostly their
supporters who came out to find out whether their
leaders were hurt. The two leaders waved to
their supporters, beaming with smiles.

Traffic came to a stand still as supporters
ran after the convoy right on to the APC headquarters
on Hannah Benka Coker Street, where the leaders briefly
addressed their supporters.

The SLPP has not yet reacted on the recent spate of violence in the east of the country in which its supporters are alleged to play a prominent role. The party’s spokesman, Victor Reider, is also unavailable for comments.